More than 17,000 potholes reported in Devon in two months

Pot holes in road Flooding resulted in damage to roads

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More than 17,100 potholes have been reported in Devon since the beginning of the year, highways bosses say.

Devon County Council said that, since 1 January, it was informed of more than 15,500 such road defects.

In Plymouth, the city's unitary council said it had 1,139 potholes reported up to 27 February, compared to 493 for the same period in 2012.

Torbay Council said it had more than 275 reported. The Highways Agency said it dealt with 190 on trunk routes.

Many of the potholes were as a result of damage from heavy rain, flooding and landslips in November and December 2012, the authorities said.

Devon saw flooding across much of the county, with hundreds of people's homes damaged by rising waters.

Start Quote

The most important thing is to repair the pothole as soon as possible”

End Quote Councillor Stuart Hughes Devon County Council

The county council said it had repaired about 13,400 potholes so far this year, at an average cost of about £40 each, costing about £536,000.

It added that it aimed to repair large potholes on major roads, well-used pavements and cycleways within one working day of being reported.

Potholes on minor routes were targeted for repair within seven working days, it said.

Plymouth City Council said it released £225,000 in January to fund a 10-week pothole fixing programme.

That was on top of £250,000 released to pay for a programme to permanently resurface small sections of road where multiple potholes had developed, it added.

However, industry experts said problems would get worse unless roads had more than "quick-fix patches".

'Most important'

John Bullock, from the Asphalt Industry Alliance, said: "Many are 50 and 60 years old, when their life expectancy is around 20 or 30.

"When they start to fail, it's not just the surface. Water gets in and causes other structural problems."

However, Councillor Stuart Hughes, from Devon County Council, said highways staff were "staying on top of the problem".

He said: "The most important thing is to repair the pothole as soon as possible.

"We will go out and do a quick temporary repair to make the the road safe, and then make a permanent repair at a later date."

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